I attended the Central New York Scottish Games over the weekend and enjoyed a beautiful Summer’s day learning about Scottish heritage and celebrating their traditions. One of their traditions are the athletic competitions. The Stone Throwing is very similar to the Olympic sports of the shot put and hammer throw.
The 56 pound (25 kilograms) distributed Stone Throw shows the agility, strength, and concentration of each of the competitors as they whirl around to build up enough momentum to cover distances over 30 feet (9 meters).
The Caber Toss is a unique Scottish athletic event which tests not only a person’s strength but balance and technique. Cabers are long wood poles of around 19 feet (~6 meters) and weigh close to 130 pounds (59 kilograms). Competitors get assistance in standing the caber on end but then have to lift the long and heavy log while balancing it against their bodies. They carefully run with the caber to build up enough speed to stop and launch it into the air. The goal is to toss the caber end over end so it tips over away from the tosser when it lands. The straighter the caber falls, the more points are awarded.
I learned the definition of a Great Scot at one of the vendor tables selling t-shirts: It’s not just the length of his caber that makes him great but also the weight of his stones.